Hawke swears Anders smiles like sunshine. It’s warm and life-giving, they say, and chases off even the cloudiest of moods. So it should come as no surprise that they try to be the cause of its appearance as often as they can.
Every goofy joke or cheesy flirt, every cheeky grin across the table during Wicked Grace games. It’s all for the simple cause of getting a smile out of the mage. And it’s all worth it, as far as Hawke is concerned, when Anders laughs and shakes his head before shooting them a genuine smile.
“Have I ever told you about the time I fell out of a tree and broke my arm?” they ask on the way through the Lowtown markets, nudging Anders’ side.
Anders can tell where this is going, of course, but he plays along anyway. “Oh? No, never heard that one.” he says.
Hawke’s grinning at their own joke already but they press forward. “Yeah, guess you could say I went out on a limb and almost lost one for it.”
“Maker Hawke!” Anders fusses and shoves at their arm but he’s laughing despite himself. “That’s the worst one yet.”
They just laugh along and agree. Both because he’s right and because he’s smiling. He’s smiling and, as far as they’re concerned, they’ve won this.
They’d give anything to see him smile. It makes even the worst times more bearable.
So as they take one last look over their shoulder at Kirkwall, smoke still rolling off the Chantry ruins, then look back to find Anders’ face hard and grim, they know they have to do something. There has to be something… something they can say that they haven’t already.
“You know,” they hum, slowing to a stop and turning to look out across the wilderness at the city below. “this isn’t so bad.”
Anders turns to them, still frowning, and asks, “What are you talking about, Hawke?”
Hawke tosses a grin over their shoulder and gestures to Kirkwall below them. As if for effect, ashes from the far-off Chantry rubble blow by them.
“You can actually see the skyline now, without that ugly building in the way.”
Anders stares at them for a long moment and, just when they think they’ve failed, he breaks into a shaky fit of laughter. The mage steps forward, buries his face in their coat, and dissolves into a mix of laughter and grateful tears. Hawke just wraps their arms around his shoulders and sways on their feet, waiting for him to recover.
“I love you.” he says finally and rewards them with the warmest smile they’ve seen yet. “You know that?”
“I had a hunch.”
“I don’t know how you do that.” he remarks and takes their face in his hands.
“Always know just how to make me smile again.” Anders says fondly, pressing his forehead to theirs.
Hawke just grins at him. “It’s a gift.”
The gift they’re most proud of, in fact.